[Detail of Penny Picture Display, Savannah]

Exhibition objects

Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard

February 3–May 25, 2009

Accompanied by a publication

This exhibition focuses on a collection of nine thousand picture postcards amassed and classified by the American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975), now part of the Metropolitan's Walker Evans Archive. The picture postcard represented a powerful strain of indigenous American realism that directly influenced Evans's artistic development. The dynamic installation of hundreds of American postcards drawn from Evans's collection will reveal the symbiotic relationship between Evans's own art and his interest in the style of the postcard. This is also demonstrated with a selection of about a dozen of his own photographs printed in 1936 on postcard format photographic paper.

Left: Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). [Detail of Penny Picture Display, Savannah], 1936. Postcard format gelatin silver print; 3 7/16 x 5 3/8 in. (8.7 x 13.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1991 (1996.165.1)